Turkey’s national oil and gas company TPAO has started drilling operations at an exploration well in the North Sakarya field, located in the Black Sea, using the Fatih drillship.
The start of operations on the Amasra-1 well was announced on Thursday by the Turkish energy minister, Fatih Donmez.
On its social media channels, TPAO on Thursday confirmed that the drillship had started drilling the Amasra-1 well. The drillship left the Port of Filyos several days earlier.
TPAO bought the 6th generation Fatih drillship in 2017, under its original name Deepsea Metro II.
In August 2020, the Fatih drillship found significant gas resources in the Black Sea after drilling the Tuna-1 well, a discovery that could help the country cut its dependence on energy imports if the gas can be commercially extracted.
The Tuna-1 ultra-deepwater exploration well in block AR/TPO/KD/C26-C27-D26-D27 is now called the Sakarya gas field.
In October 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Fatih drillship to announce an increase in discovered resources at the Tuna-1 offshore well.
Erdoğan said that 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas were added to the initial 320 bcm and that the Tuna-1 discovery was estimated to hold 405 bcm of natural gas.
Turkish Energy Minister Donmez said last October that Turkey could work with foreign firms to develop the Sakarya gas field.
Following the success of the Tuna-1 well, the Fatih drillship in early November 2020 started drilling the second borehole on the Sakarya field, Turkali-1. Operations were scheduled to last about 75 days.
Turkey expects first gas flow from the Sakarya field in 2023. Although some experts saw it as very difficult to achieve in such a short time span, Erdoğan doubled down on that statement in 2020 by saying: “By 2023 we will reach our goals. We will leave a big and powerful Turkey for our next generation through our 2053 vision and we will not hesitate”.
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